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General Information

Common name: Spider mites

Spider mites species

Common spider mites (Tetranychus cinnabarinus)
Red spider mites (T. evansi, Panonychus citri)
Two-spotted spider mites (T. urticae)
Cassava green mite (Mononychellus tanajoa)

Host plants

Vegetables, fruit trees, grains, beans, economic crops, and ornamental plants




Generally, mites feed on the undersides of leaves. They use their sucking mouthparts to remove plant saps. The upper leaf surface has a speckled or mottled appearance while the underneath appears tan or yellow and has a crusty texture. Infested leaves may turn yellow, dry up, and drop in a few weeks. Mites produce large amount of webbing. Heavy infestation will result in a fine cobwebby appearance on the leaves. Plants die when infestation is severe.


Eggs are tiny, spherical, pale-white, and are laid on the undersides of leaves often under the webbings. Eggs hatch in 4 or 5 days.

Nymph looks similar to the adult but is only the size of an egg. It has only 6 legs. It molts 3 times before becoming an adult.

The adult is also very tiny, maybe yellowish, greenish, pinkish, or reddish depending on the species. It looks like a tiny moving dot. It has an oval body with 8 legs and with 2 red eyespots near the head of the body. The male is smaller than the female with a more pointed abdomen. A female usually has a large, dark blotch on each side with numerous bristles covering her legs and body.

Mites are not insects, they are arachnids.
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